The driver who attempted to steer with his knees and ended up causing a crash that killed four people, including his daughter, on the Taconic State Parkway pleaded guilty Friday.
Nerim Sinanovic, a 34-year-old resident of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to four counts of criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony, and three traffic violations.
Sinanovic was driving his BMW SUV northbound on the Taconic State Parkway in Yorktown on the afternoon of Aug. 15, 2015. His wife was in the front passenger seat and their two young daughters were in the rear seats, according to the Westchester District Attorney's Office.
Sinanovic told state police that while driving northbound on the Taconic State Parkway he took his hands off the steering wheel, turned towards the back seat and steered with his knees, the DA's office said, adding that this caused the vehicle to veer to the right.
Sinanovic's wife then grabbed the wheel and the vehicle veered left and continued up and over the dividing center median between the north and southbound lanes, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The vehicle became airborne and crashed into a Toyota Camry which was traveling in the southbound lane. There were three family members in that vehicle at the time of the crash. Two sustained massive internal injuries and were pronounced dead within hours. The third person died a month later, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Sinanovic's children, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old, who were both in child seats were ejected from the vehicle. The 2-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Two additional vehicles, a Ford Escape and an Acura RSX, were also struck.
Those occupants sustained non-life threatening injuries, according to the District Attorney's Office.A toxicology report indicated the defendant had a level of Xanax in his system over therapeutic levels at the time of the crash, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Sinanovic's will be sentenced on Jan. 24, 2018, and faces a maximum of 1.3 to four years in state prison.
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